Family Technology Resources
Common Sense Media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/) has a number of valuable resources for parents. Here are a few things that may help you with using technology at home, no matter what age!
Talk with your Child About Screen Time
It is important to find the right balance of time spent exposed to media. We want to emphasize the use of education media as opposed to passive consumption of entertainment media. The conversation should be more about avoiding digital time-wasters and focusing more on quality content. It is also important for parents to model good media behavior in front of their children. See the Common Sense Media website for information on how to create a schedule at home for non-education related content and create tech-free zones in your home. It is a good idea to have a rule that iPads are charged outside of the bedroom so that children are not using them after bedtime.
Creating a Family Media Agreement
It is important to set up realistic rules about media use that include what children are doing, how much time they are doing it, and how age-appropriate it is. Here are several different sample media and technology agreements and contracts that you can use for your reference:
- Common Sense Media.pdf
- Rules Not Guidelines
- Example: Teddy's Agreement
Part of the curriculum includes digital citizenship lessons that teach how to be a good digital citizen online and how to be an upstander. See the Common Sense Media website with information about how to have a conversation with your child about digital behavior.
Stay Up to Date on Social Media
Social media is a great way for students to connect and collaborate with others. However, children under the age of 13 are technically not supposed to have a social media account unless a parent created the account for them. If your child has a social media account, have a conversation with them about what they are sharing and posting online. It is a good idea to “friend” or “follow” them online so you are aware of what they are doing and to monitor their account periodically.
Avoiding Eye Strain
As with extended time looking at one thing for too long, it is important to take frequent breaks and blink frequently. Consider the “20-20-20” rule. Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes away and view something 20 feet away. Make sure your child has a good space at home to do school work without glare on the screen, with low lighting, and that your child has a good place to sit with the device.